High Five

What counts in music today

By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / July 22, 2011

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

Cameron Leahy is not sure roller coasters are actually a good idea. “I often think they might be bad for your brain,’’ says the lead singer of the Virginia-spawned pop-rock band the Downtown Fiction. This thinking will not keep him from trying the brain-jarring options at Six Flags New England when the band plays there on Tuesday. “Just because I said they’re not good for you doesn’t mean I won’t do it,’’ he says with a chuckle. As Leahy and the group tour behind their sunny, seasonally appropriate debut, “Let’s Be Animals,’’ we caught up with him to talk about five cool summer records.

1. “21,’’ Adele. “It’s really refreshing to hear something like that on Top 40. That’s what I’m all about, organic sound that could be produced [live] in a room with people.’’

2. “Pet Sounds,’’ the Beach Boys. “It’s required listening. It’s been so influential for so many artists. It’s become so iconic with the vibe of summer, you can’t separate the Beach Boys from summer.’’

3. “Crazy for You,’’ Best Coast. “They’re really cool and also have a retro vibe. I love her vocals, they’re so soaked in reverb and very roomy.’’

4. “Weezer [The Blue Album],’’ Weezer. “I feel like Best Coast and Weezer are both influenced by the Beach Boys heavily, so it all falls into the same category.’’

5. “Let’s Be Animals,’’ the Downtown Fiction. “So much of the record is about growing up and becoming independent and evolving, and summer is always that time where you regroup and look toward the future. Even if it explores some darker themes it’s a very happy-sounding record. I hope people will check it out and make it their summer record, but, no pressure.’’